NBA Lock Pick In the Midst of NCAA Tournament Senior Sports Handicapper Matt Rivers has a free pick winner Sunday is on the Cleveland Cavaliers (+5) To Atlanta.

Reasoning: The Hawks win one game fairly easily over a depleted Nets squad and all of a sudden they are once again worthy of laying half a dozen or so on the road? Really? They even almost couldn’t cover the game in the end in improving to 4-8 in their last 12 games. Sure Larry Drew’s team is much more talented and overall superior to 14-57 Cleveland but things have been really ugly at times for the boys from Hotlanta and I just cannot trust them as much as in the past. Plus they just clinched a playoff berth last night and could be in a bit of a psychological letdown mode tonight.

Joe Johnson has not stepped up and been the leader this team needs. Yes he is a very good ballplayer to go along with Al Horford, Josh Smith and Jamal Crawford but things have not been right of late for the Hawks for a little while now. They have been blown out a ton and fairly emotionless at times. Yesterday they beat an injured New Jersey team that has been pretty awful of late without their leader in Deron Williams running the show.

Cleveland is the worst team in the NBA, save maybe Minnesota and there really aren’t all that many complimentary things that I can say for them. But they did at least win their last game and JJ Hickson has been really good of late leading the way. Also Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions are still capable pros as well who can wreak a little havoc.

The bottom line is that the Cavs may not be good but the Hawks are not exactly a locked and loaded team themselves and when you add in how the visitors are playing on the never easy back-to-back after clinching a postseason berth last night I’ll take my chances with this home dog.

Top expert pick on this game: Cleveland Cavs

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